While the top 6 picks remain the same there are a lot of changes in the bottom half of the lottery. There are also some players who have moved around and now been selected by different teams based on things I have heard from scouts and front office personnel. One week to go boys and girls… and I still expect two or three major moves to happen with teams in the lottery!!
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
(SF, C, SG) – No change at the top. I spoke with people close to the Cavs brass and was told that they were impressed by Embiid’s workout but also by the way he handled himself. Don’t believe the reports about his back being a big problem, I was told the back issue will NOT prevent the Cavs from making him the top overall pick.
Selection – Joel Embiid , C – University of Kansas
2. Milwaukee Bucks
(Scorer, Combo Forward) – The Bucks are intrigued by Embiid as well, but with the 7-footer off the board look for them to take the player who can have the more immediate impact.
Selection – Jabari Parker, PF/SF – Duke University
3. Philadelphia 76ers
(SF, PF/C) – The Sixers were dubbed “Tankadelphia” this year and the consensus all along was that the front office wanted to land Wiggins. They didn’t get the pick they wanted but they will get the player they coveted.
Selection – Andre Wiggins, SF – University of Kansas
4. Orlando Magic
(PG, PF) – I’m hearing Noah Vonleh’s name mentioned here now along with Dante Exum. While the team was impressed with Exum, the overwhelming need for a PG will outweigh everything else.
Selection – Dante Exum, PG – Australia
5. Utah Jazz
(SF, G, F) – The Jazz are forming a nice young nucleus with Trey Burke, Derek Favors and RFA Gordon Hayward. Add to that Enes Kanter and Alec Burks and the team has a nice young piece at each position on the floor. Look for them to try desperately to trade down but if they stay look for them to add a security blanket at SF or more backcourt depth.
Selection – Noah Vonleh, SF/PF – Indiana University
6. Boston Celtics
(Scorer, SG, F) – The Celtics need a legit scoring threat and could also use help at SG and F. Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon and Julius Randle are names I am hearing right now tied to Boston. Many people think the Celtics are leaning towards Gordon but I simply don’t think they can pass up the scoring ability of Marcus Smart.
Selection – Marcus Smart, SG – Oklahoma State University
7. Los Angeles Lakers
(Everything) – Julius Randle is an option here and would fill a huge hole for the Lakers but I have heard now from two separate Western Conference scouts that the team absolutely loves PG Elfrid Payton and feels he could be a Rajon Rondo type with a better offensive game. This will all come down to opinions on Randle’s previously broken foot.
Selection – Elfrid Payton, PG – University of Louisiana at Lafayette
8. Sacramento Kings
(C, Defender, PG) – The Kings could use a defensive center that would allow Cousins to move over to his natural PF position. With no center worthy of this pick, why not keep Cousins at center and add a defensive minded PF.
Selection – Aaron Gordon, PF – University of Arizona
9. Charlotte Hornets (from Detroit)
(F, G) – The team has changed names and now need to finish changing their identity. The Hornets (Bobcats) finished in the bottom 3 teams in perimeter shooting in the entire league. For this team to take the next step they have to find someone who can shoot the ball. Enter one of the biggest question marks in the entire draft, a Combo Forward who can shoot the lights out.
Selection – Doug McDermott, SF/PF – Creighton University
10. Philadelphia 76ers (from New Orleans)
(PF, C, SG) – Philly added Andrew Wiggins earlier and now will truly feel like they won the lottery when they can add a player who many believe is the most versatile in the entire draft and one who’s ceiling is off the charts.
Selection – Dario Saric, SF/PF – Croatia